Highly intoxicated driver hits 32 people at Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans

New Orleans, LA (PPN) – Neilson “Pasta” Rizzuto was driving under the influence of alcohol Saturday evening around 6:42 p.m. when he rammed his gray Chevrolet pickup truck into a crowd of people at the Krewe of Endymion parade. This is the largest Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans. It runs from Mid-City to downtown. Rizzuto’s blood alcohol content was .232%. The legal alcohol limit in Louisiana is 0.02%.

The 25 year old white man is a bouncer at Daiquiris & Company. He was arrested and booked into the Orleans Justice Center Sunday on two counts of first-degree vehicular negligence resulting in injury, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, and hit-and-run driving.

Rizzuto’s grandmother, Loretta Rizzuto, told reporters that her grandson is hardworking, pays his bills, and does not get into trouble.

Neilson Rizzuto arrested right after his pickup truck slammed into parked dump truck.

Neilson was driving near the parade route on N. Carrollton Avenue and hit several vehicles prior to striking the crowd. The truck spun sideways, jumped the median, and plowed through the crowd until it hit a parked dump truck.

Police arrested him immediately. Chief of Police Michael Harrison announced during a news conference that 21 people were taken to local hospitals out of the 32 injured, including one female officer. NOPD Lt. Michelle Woodfork, 46, is in stable condition but has a broken leg along with other right knee and leg injures.

Bystanders help victims after truck rams into crowd.

All injures were non-life threatening and 7 people declined medical transportation.

The scene was catastrophic after the accident as paramedics and bystanders rushed to help the injured people while others panicked to find their loves ones.

Some of Neilson’s recent Facebook posts about reckless car accidents and overthrowing the government has FBI investigating the incident but they have not ruled it as a terror attack.


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